Saturday, February 28, 2009

Three Good Things

Jeff came out today to give me a good talking to. I’ve been in such a funk these last couple weeks. It’s funny, but I felt worse than I did when it all first happened. Jeff says it’s not strange at all, that I was in shock or denial or both, and that it’s only now started to get real and that’s why I’ve been so mood indigo. So he got on the train and didn’t even tell me he was coming until he called from the Speonk station for me to pick him up. We spent the whole day talking. He helped me move some furniture and boxes, and we drove all the way out to Turtle Crossing to get some barbecue for dinner. He has to be at work tomorrow – something I didn’t understand about a load balancer – so he couldn’t stay over. After we ate, I put him on the train in East Hampton.

I felt so much better for having seen him, I didn’t even mind the drive home alone. Except for Ed dropping by once a week, checking in on me really, and he and Leonie having me to dinner a couple of times, I’ve been all on my own since I got here. It’s not good, I know. But it’s hard to get out there and try and join the community when the weather makes me feel like hiding under the blankets. And anyway, how am I supposed to do it? Join a gym? Can’t afford it. Find a book group? Give me a break. I could use a job, even a part time one, but everything here died out years before this November. I can walk the two miles to what used to be “town” (it’s free exercise, right?), but every other storefront has newspapered windows. The most happening place in town is the thrift store, which is in a double wide spot that used to be the dime store when I was a kid. Everyone brings in their stuff and the “antiques” buyers from the Hamptons and the city make regular trips in to mine it. Or at least that’s how it’s been. Leonie says the locals are finally starting to catch on to Craig’s List; they can make a lot more by selling their stuff direct. Yeah, things are hoppin’ big time out here in Arahmpett.

Still, Jeff’s right. It’s not doing me any good sitting in this house, drinking too much coffee and re-reading old books. And like he says, it’s easy to let days and days go by that way when there’s no one for me to answer to. So he’s made me promise that I’m going to post on this blog every single day.

What I’m supposed to do is put down three good things that happened that day. Jeff says no matter what, there have to be three. It’s not, as he said, like I’m living in a war zone or have to dumpster dive to eat. His thinking is, if I have to write down three things, not only will I appreciate what I do have, but I’ll be forced to make things happen. I’ll start looking at what I can control and setting goals I can accomplish. He made me promise. And he’s checking this blog first thing every morning, so he’ll know if I haven’t done it.

It sounds a little Oprah, I know, but you know, I don’t have any better ideas and it won’t cost me anything to try. So I’m starting now, while I’m still kind of high from having a good day.

My three good things for today are:

#1 - Having a friend like Jeff. You’re blushing, aren’t you? Well, come on. You’re the best friend I have in the world, and we both know I’m not exaggerating. I know you’d like to wave a magic wand and make everything okay. And you’re such a great person that it hurts you that you can’t. No one could make everything okay for me this time, Jeff. But you help me get back up and keep going. Thank you. For everything.

#2 – Turtle Crossing barbecue. If you’re within driving distance of East Hampton and you’ve never eaten at Turtle Crossing, you’re a fool. I’ve tried pretty much everything on the menu, and it’s all amazing. It’s the kind of food that can turn any day into a holiday. I had ribs tonight, because I haven’t had them in so long. And I brought home enough brisket and pulled pork for three more dinners. Cornbread, beans and cole slaw, too. They make the absolute best cole slaw.

#3 – The big old bathtub in the upstairs bathroom. I remember begging Uncle Harry to let me replace it with one of those easy-install fiberglass units. I had one picked out was a gunmetal grey, which I thought was so sophisticated. Fortunately, he wouldn’t hear of it. He liked being able to stretch out and soak after a hard day, and he was too big for the newer tubs. I didn’t really understand until the flat in Prague, which had a super large claw foot Victorian; now that was a tub! That was when I started to appreciate the value of having my own private hydrotherapy. I made Gary put big Jacuzzi tubs in all our houses….Sorry, this is supposed to be about what’s good, not what’s gone wrong. But I have to say that if I ever have money again, if there’s one thing I’m getting it’s a Jacuzzi. That and a toilet with a Toto washlet. For now, I’m grateful Uncle H never listened to me. And now I’m putting away my computer, pouring myself a snifter of cognac and taking myself a soak.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Last year, Gary took me to Per Se for Valentine’s Day. It was amazing, really amazing. It’s the only time I ever ate there, and I’ll probably never be able to afford to eat there again. After dinner, we had a car drive us out to the beach. We spent most of the weekend in bed, or sitting in front of the fire with a bottle of something fine. I wonder now, was it already too late for Gary? Was he fiddling while Rome burned, or did he really not know what deep shit he was in? He sure didn’t think he’d be dead before the year was out.

This was the first time in my life I’ve ever been alone on Valentine’s Day. I didn’t know what to do with it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What Happened with Global Warming?

The last two days were really beautiful and I was just getting used to imagining spring. Then I wake up this morning, and it’s snowing. Again. And it kept up all freakin’ day, wet and slushy, but still snowing. And I thought we were having global warming and New York would be turning into LA. I must be missing something.

I found an old lawn chair in the garage that wasn’t too rusty to open, and I sat outside yesterday for a couple of hours with my coffee. There’s a patch out back where I’m thinking maybe I could make a garden. I never made one myself, but I love the one out at the house. It would be something to do. That’s what I was thinking yesterday. I was even thinking of driving out to the house and taking some pictures. I wish I could just dig up those rose bushes out back, those little old white ones that smelled so amazing. I don’t see why I can’t. They were left from the previous owners, so they belong to the land, not to Gary, right?

Jeff says I have to stop saying things like that in this blog. I don’t get it. I’m not saying anything I wouldn’t say right to the lawyers’ face. I’m an open book – no secrets, nothing to hide. Anyway, I’m a victim here. My husband’s dead and everything I thought was real for seven years, suddenly out of nowhere disappears. He’s hardly in the ground when I get visited by a team of lawyers telling me that he owed millions of dollars and everything’s either leased and the bills haven’t been paid in months, or it’s collateral for some loan that likewise hasn’t been paid. The whole life I had with Gary is in receivership.
I’m out on the street with nothing and I never even had a chance to save myself.

Damn it, I’ve got stuff owed to me, too! Where do I get on line to collect? For back salary or whatever we want to call it. I was a good wife. I made sure he had everything he wanted to make him happy, the right food and wine, hot sex even when I was totally bored, better suits than he knew how to pick for himself, everything. Wherever we went, I worked the smiles and small talk, and did the whole celebrity thing that I absolutely never do on my own, just to make him look good. And I put up with his two freakin’ spoiled asshole sons. Oh, that’s the bright spot in all this! Those two are finally going to have to get off their asses and work for a living.

Carmen, Gary’s assistant came to visit after the funeral. That’s how I heard about how Simon kept calling and demanding his seven grand every month. Thirty years old and never worked a day in his life, living on the beach with his rich Swiss girlfriend. The two of them
“in film.” Yeah, sure. She went to the same gym as Drew Barrymore, thot’s about how much “in film” they are. I tried to tell Gary it was bullshit, but when it came to those boys, he only ever saw what they wanted him to see. Simon the “filmmaker” and Taylor the “writer.” At least Simon was in the right place. Who goes to Paris to write in English? Since Hemmingway, I mean. It was those damned boys that drove him to that roof if you ask me. Carmen was in tears. They’ll call and drive him crazy for their checks. The checking account would be down to zero, and he could never tell them, he just couldn’t bring himself to say he couldn’t afford it, that there was nothing to give. He had to be a big man for those boys. He never stopped being the Saturday daddy, the divorced guy who goes overboard when he sees the kids, trying to buy them away from their mom and her new husband. It’s getting me sick to think about what those boys did to him. But I wish I could have been there when they found out the piggy bank was empty, that there would never be another check again.